Holden Caulfield is the protagonist and main character of the novel. He is a peculiar teenage boy, continuously failing out of schools and struggling to find people he can connect with. His hypocritical view of the world leaves him with a jaded and annoyed voice in his story telling, in spite of his intelligence and wit. Holden finds himself caught between childhood and maturity and his inability to discover his place leaves him depressed and confused. Phoebe, the antagonist of the novel, is Holden’s kid sister. She is spoken of fondly throughout the novel but is not introduced to the reader until the end. Her innocence is something Holden clings to for refreshment and hope in this uncertain point in his life. Allie Caulfield was Holden’s …show more content…
He begins his story at Pencey Prep, a school which bores him and leaves him disgusted. He fails out and is sent home. He tells the story of his attempt to avoid his parents’ punishment by exploring New York City rather than returning home. The majority of the novel discusses his thoughts and feelings at he wanders the city alone, struggling between a thirst for independence and his longing for the innocence and simplicity of childhood. Holden represents the typical teenager. He demands his independence and refuses to view himself as anything but invincible. In his mind, he has life figured out and everyone around him is simply stupid. He fails out of multiple schools and cannot manage to find friends because he is looking for his environment to cater to him. He does not want to put in the time or effort required to succeed. So he gives up. After talking to several adults about this book, this moment became a huge wake up call for me as a reader. I was reminded that Holden is lost because he refuses to see the world for what it is, choosing to live in the fantasy that somewhere life is greater. He seeks a place where life is easy, where everyone sees the world through his eyes, where he must put forth no effort. This is immature and shows that as much as Holden views himself as a grown up, he has not reached maturity. Like Holden, most teenagers, including myself, can attempt to grow up too fast. We crave freedom to make our own lives for ourselves. We too often want to skip the painful and messy steps of growing
adulthood. Holden constantly acts childish when leaving schools, wasting money, starting arguments, and flunking his classes. When he is sent off to different schools, he is also being forced into adulthood. He is all alone far away from his family, and it is up to him to make decisions for himself. “It was too late to call for a cab…..
Holden Caulfield is a teenage rebel who is struggling to grow up. He can’t keep up with it, so he starts to search for a way to break free. His cynicism ends him up alone for twenty-four hours in the city where he experiences the adult world. Holden’s isolation, however, is disappointment interlaced with a bit of hope. Phoebe Caulfield is Holden’s innocent, ten year old younger sister.
The protagonist Holden Caulfield is liberated from his warped personality and finally begins to realize his aversion of the grown-up life that change is inevitable and always accompanied by a sense of loss. Not accepting the changes in the surroundings and his actions makes him immature and not a trusted narrator. Avoiding issues by not facing them in the first place makes him being followed by disappointment constantly. For instance, in the beginning of the book Caulfield mentions his own opinion on leaving places and we know that when he was thirteen years old his little brother died.
The novel begins when Holden is expelled from the prestigious Pencey Prep High School, and then, without telling his parents, he roams the streets of New York, confronting the adult world while searching for a friend. This search for friendship leads Holden to see the dark side of humanity and reveals his own hypocrisy. His struggles, however insignificant, are decidedly human and his opinions fluid and flawed. Holden's desperate tone makes him an unreliable yet powerful narrator as he lies to himself and others in order to decrease his loneliness, showing the dark side of humanity. Holden’s desperation leads him to make a fool of himself as he attempts to relieve his loneliness.
Holden is able to face his problems because he has met the psychological “need of belonginess and love needs” when reaching his goals (Maslow’s Hierarchy). After forming a stronger relationship with Phoebe, more of his psychological needs are met; Holden feels safe trusting his sister and becomes more affiliated with others instead of using isolation as a defense mechanism. Holden’s bohemian ideology on people around him is very similar to Chris McCandless from Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild. They both struggle to form connections with others and have relationship issues with their family. “He acted like it was it was hard for him to be around people...
Holden struggles with growing up and facing reality. There are many examples of Holden’s immaturity that are displayed in many forms such as facing responsibilities, his speech, his actions, and etc. Holden’s outlook on adult life is that it is superficial and brimming with phonies, but childhood was all about looking pleasing and innocent. He wants everything to stay the same and for time to stop. As Holden progresses in age, he will discover more about becoming mature in the
He has trouble growing up and accepting life as it is. Holden thinks adults are "phony" which makes him hate the fact of growing up and staying innocent as much as he can while he is old enough to become an adult. He is frustrated with the world and people which makes him act with anger. His innocent childish dream is to be the Catcher in the Rye, to catch the kids before they become phonies like Holden says about adults. The moment he realizes that he cannot keep kids from falling or in other words, from growing up and becoming adults, he, reaches adulthood, and takes a big step towards it at the end of the novel.
Although Holden is a very intelligent character he finds the hypocrisy and ugliness in the world around him and quickly associates it with the adult world. Holden is a very introverted character who hesitates throughout the book to share information about his life . J.D Salinger makes sure to portray Holden that way to
Holden must take what he has learned to make comprehensive changes in his life so he can succeed. Holden realizes he is an adult and no longer should participate in activities for children. “Go ahead, then–I’ll be on the bench ”(Salinger 211). The actualization formed here demonstrates how Holden has made an impact while trying to transition into adulthood. While some critics, such as Grace Gianni, suggest that Holden hasn’t made any progress in becoming an adult; reiterating pessimistic points of views on phonies without taking into consideration his actions (Goodreads).
How would you feel if you were outcasted by society, looked down upon by everyone else around you, never to fit in. This is the life that Holden Caulfield has to live. Holden Caulfield is a character in the book, The Catcher In the Rye, that is viewed as a misfit but assigned this label by society around him. Holden just has a different perspective on the world than everyone else, causing him to be seen as lower than everyone else. Holden doesn't believe in how materialistic things make you happy, he doesn't agree with people pretending to be someone that they truly are not, and he wants to protect children from the world and keep their innocence for as long as he can.
The only motivator that Holden has to continue living is his younger sister, Phoebe, who is extraordinarily intelligent for her age. After he gets kicked out of Pencey, Holden is lost in life. He speaks to many people, seeking advice and comfort, but they are not able to help him find a human connection. Holden’s depression increases throughout the novel, almost to the point of suicide. He criticizes many people and ideas, labeling them as ‘phony’.
Holden Caulfield’s story traces psychological/moral development and maturation. The conflicts that Holden deals with, shape him into a new adult. Holden learns so much on his journey, and finally accepts what society has to offer him. Society accepts him back, and Holden is rebirthed into an adult with new knowledge to benefit society. First off, Holden is portrayed as this terrible delinquent.
The beginning of Holden’s journey starts with the innocence and naivety of childhood. Childhood is the stage that ignorance is bliss with no care in the world. Holden goes to a prestigious boarding school for boys and he believes that everyone in that school is a phony in some way. Holden is an observant character as he stays in the background, but he can also cause the most trouble. Like a child, he asks many questions and he is very curious to the point that he can be annoying.
While many argue that Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye does not deviate from the traditional anti-hero attributes and, therefore, does not display any prominent change, an argument can be made to the contrary. Holden Caulfield goes through some noticeable character development and is in a better place emotionally at the end of the book because he speaks with Phoebe. His meeting with Phoebe and Phoebe’s message to him shows him a youth’s perspective on his world, rather than the superficial sincerity of his elderly professor and his favorite teacher that makes advances on him. Additionally, him being able to successfully communicate with a member of his own family puts him in a better place. His time with her lets him see his own self-image of a “catcher in the rye.”